Back to mundane reality after a week of high philosophising. Today’s (actually yesterday’s) article of note is a column in Expressen, a newspaper best used to line the inside of animal enclosures. The columnist Maria Näslund talks about the new “sweeping reforms” on the way in the Swedish education system. Apparently the education minister wants to bring in such draconian policies as:
- Make the kids turn off their mobiles before coming into class
- Give the little bastards a rating based on how well they behave in school (being on time, not stabbing people)
- Grade the kids on how well they perform academically
Now any of you living in the real world will recognise these points as necessary cornerstones of an education system, along with rum, sodomy, the lash and cigarettes purchased individually from “Micko” round the back of the water tower. They are, however, new inventions in Sweden.
In Sweden you may not use your “authority” over your pupils, as they may feel oppressed. You may not write comments on their report papers, if they even get report papers, as this may make them feel different than everybody else (which officially they’re not). You may not, as a teacher, even insist that your kids pay attention to you in case they miss the episode of O.C. they are following on somebody’s portable DVD player.
The Swedish schools cannot even stop the widespread bullying going on and instead pretend it isn’t there, even as one depressed kid after another throw themselves from the bridges and slice their wrists.
Even homework is frowned upon, as it takes up their valuable time, time that could be better used moping around on their beds, listening to their iPods and planning their next package holiday to Thailand, while complaining in a nasal manner how unfair their lives are.
Figure 1: Burger-flippers and ravenous corporate boss
Fix the Swedish schools? Fuck the education minister and his pussy-ass recommendations. Here’s what you do:
- Give them all a smart uniform to remind them what they are – students
- Remove or deactivate any and all peripheral equipment not related to learning
- Give the little bastards a good tongue-lashing when they don’t do what they are told
- Give them detention, extra homework and hard physical labour if they still refuse to behave
- Let them know exactly what they are good at, and why
- And stop letting the loud, brash, popular, stupid kids run the show
School isn’t for entertainment – it’s a place for the little bastards to learn something (maybe even something useful) before they tumble out into the world and start to realise that they are not, after all, the centre of the universe, but merely the tiniest wart on its great shaggy behind.
/ paddy (a former teacher – how ever did you guess..?)